One of the treasures that I received on Christmas morning was a rubber stamp from my sister and her husband. It reads, “Fruit of the Spirit is Love.” Well, the Spirit was mighty fruitful this Christmas. I felt embraced by love in a way that left me teary-eyed every few minutes.
Perhaps it was the warmth of feeling so completely accepted and even treasured by my husband’s family. We’ve been married for over eight years, so my full induction into the in-laws’ lives shouldn’t surprise me. It doesn’t. But I don’t take it for granted either, and I always feel blessed and humbled by their love.
Perhaps it was the joy of watching my older child come to understand Christmas in a richer way. He began to get the hang of gift giving, practicing with his own toys and scraps of wrapping paper in the weeks before Christmas. He also grew in his ability to receive gifts graciously. I was proud of my little man with his many prompted and un-prompted “thank yous.”
Perhaps it was the light in my baby’s eyes as he gazed at one Christmas tree after another or the mischievous grin as he banged the cymbals and tambourine from Santa.
Perhaps it was the two books on academic writing given to me by my husband. While these might not seem like romantic gifts to anyone else, for me they represent his belief in my dream, his support, and his confidence that I can make my goal happen.
Perhaps it was the pleasure of curling up on my parents’ cushy loveseat on Christmas night with a new book while the potbelly stove crackled and Mom and my boys played another round of “Don’t Break the Ice on the Floor.”
Whatever the reason, it was a happy, happy Christmas.